A tale of two halves! This re-scheduled match after being snowed off a couple of weeks ago certainly caused some excitement. A shocking performance in the first half from both Sunderland and the referee somehow finished in Sunderland leading 1-0 going into the break after a goal from Le Tallec. Some terrible decisions in the first half by Riley didn’t improve in the second half, though seemed to balance out with a total of 4 yellow cards (most needless) for both teams.
Kevin Ball obviously gave them a hammering during half-time, but it worked. They actually seemed to have some heart, and my man Nosworthy ran his little heart out, causing all sorts of problems for Fulham who just didn’t seem to know what to do. It was his attempt on goal that caused the keeper to parry into the path of Chris Brown who put away the second goal. Sunderland haven’t actually scored two goals at home in a Premiership match all season so it looked comfortable until Radzinski scored for Fulham with 15 minutes left.
But, a nerve-racking final 15 minutes with chances for both teams finally ended up with Riley blowing his whistle not for yet another inocuos foul (having not signalled after plenty of full-blooded fouls!), but to end the match, the final home game, and the first home win! Go on, look at that scoreboard at the final whistle – how many times have opposition teams scored in the final minute or two to ruin such a thing of beauty!
And, after celebrating amongst themselves, the players went for a bit wander – a lap of honour to thank the fans, with the even stadium announcer paying tribute to all the supporters that have followed the team through a pretty terrible season. Considering this was a mid-week match a lot of the promo tickets were for kids, there was still just shy of 30,000 fans in the ground.
And still the fans were chanting everything from “Top of the league, we’re top of the league” to “We’re shite, but we 2-0 up” 😀 Here’s to next season then, though I doubt I’ll be able to catch a game or two!